Smith & Wesson CEO fires back at lawmakers

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Smith & Wesson is a venerable name in firearm manufacturing, but it’s hit a bumpy spot or two along the way. In the 1990s, the company faced backlash from the gun community after making an agreement with the Clinton administration.

But that was then. Ownership of the company has changed several times since then and the leadership is nothing like it was back then.

So when members of Congress invited them to sit down and be talked down to, the CEO declined. After all, as a free American, he certainly had that right.

The committee conducting the so-called hearings lashed out, issuing subpoenas.

Well, the CEO is firing back:

Maloney didn’t take the snub well. It seems that telling an endangered legislator that you won’t participate in her made-for-the-media dog-and-pony show can have consequences. A few days later, Maloney issued subpoenas, hoping to extract detailed sales and marketing information from Smith & Wesson on the AR pattern rifles that she can use to harm the publicly traded company and further her goal of limiting Americans’ gun rights.

Yesterday, CEO [Mark] Smith fired back, issuing the following statement . . .

A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to disparage Smith & Wesson. Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseen the decay of our country’s mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies. But they are the ones to blame for the surge in violence and lawlessness, and they seek to avoid any responsibility for the crisis of violence they have created by attempting to shift the blame to Smith & Wesson, other firearm manufacturers and law-abiding gun owners.

It is no surprise that the cities suffering most from violent crime are the very same cities that have promoted irresponsible, soft-on-crime policies that often treat criminals as victims and victims as criminals. Many of these same cities also maintain the strictest gun laws in the nation.

But rather than confront the failure of their policies, certain politicians have sought more laws restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously continuing to undermine our institutions of law and order. And to suppress the truth, some now seek to prohibit firearm manufacturers and supporters of the 2nd Amendment from advertising products in a manner designed to remind law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutional right to bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.

To be clear, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never broken into a home; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never assaulted a woman out for a late-night run in the city; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never carjacked an unsuspecting driver stopped at a traffic light.

Instead, Smith & Wesson provides these citizens with the means to protect themselves and their families.

You should head over and read the whole thing because Smith is absolutely right.

Look, if a company stands accused of breaking the law, those responsible should be prosecuted. In a nation of laws, that’s how it should work, even if the laws in question are stupid.

Yet these companies aren’t accused of breaking the law. They’re accused of marketing their guns to law-abiding people in a way that supposedly works on those who can’t purchase the product in question.

Of course, there’s no effort to curb the advertising of the automobile industry, which often uses high-speed performance for marketing purposes, even though speeding leads to traffic accidents, the leading cause of non-illness death in this country.

That’s because it’s not really about the marketing. It’s never been about the marketing.

It’s about the fact that those who make guns are free to sell them to you and me, and since they can’t go after them for that, they looked to find something they could attack them for.

These companies are no more beholden to Congress than the rest of us. People like Maloney work for the people. They are not our rulers, our betters. They are there to serve us, to help act as our voices. That does not give them the authority to try and bull gun manufacturers into capitulation.

My hats off to Mark Smith. He said the things that people like Maloney should be told constantly when they forget their role.